State lake dam road to remain closed until repairs completed
If all goes well, the road that crosses the dam at Leavenworth County State Fishing Lake could be under repair by August.
Last month, a jogger reported that dirt on the back side of the dam was sliding. Since then, the road has been closed, pending repairs.
Russell LaForce, project engineer for Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, said a safety inspection of the dam was held in January.
There was evidence of some sliding, but not of new movement, LaForce said. But apparently, winter was tough on the steep slope, and within weeks, the soil began moving.
"Before we covered it up there (with sheets of plastic to keep the ground dry), there was a lot of bare ground on the slide area," LaForce said Friday. "That wasn't there the month before. So we're working pretty fast on getting it fixed and keeping it protected so it won't slide any more."
LaForce said the slope, which was rebuilt about 10 years ago, consists of two banquettes.
These are different from berms, he said, in that with berms the water drains to the outside.
"The banquette has a reverse flow," LaForce said. "It runs to the inside of the slope and then down to the edges."
Last week, crews were at the site sending video cameras through the drain lines to see if they're blocked or holding water. And on Wednesday attempts were made to drill into the ground for testing, but the dam's steep slope made it dangerous for the drill rig to get to where it was needed.
This week, LaForce said, an inspection trench would be dug to give geologists a better idea of what's going on beneath the ground.
LaForce said he could only guess at a time frame for when the road would reopen.
"At least three to four months down the road before they start construction on that," LaForce said. "It should be started around August, hopefully."